News and Headlines


Governor DeWine Cuts Ribbon on New Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare Facility

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director LeeAnne Cornyn hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to unveil the all-new Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare (COBH) hospital in Columbus.

“As we prepare to open the doors to this new hospital, we are also opening the doors to a new era for Ohio’s mental healthcare system,” said Governor DeWine. “This world-class facility offers the space and resources necessary to provide more patient-friendly treatment strategies for individuals facing serious mental health challenges. We believe this new hospital will open more pathways to recovery and enhance our ability to transform lives.”

COBH will replace the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare (TVBH) Kosar building next door as the State’s regional psychiatric hospital serving central Ohio. TVBH opened in 1977.

The new COBH hospital contains 208 beds – 30 more than its predecessor. On top of increased patient capacity, the new facility has been designed to meet the needs of today’s behavioral healthcare environment by offering significantly more space.

At over 270,000 square feet, COBH offers nearly 100,000 square feet of additional space. The new hospital includes eight patient units, each with its own intensive care suite. The facility also includes enhanced exercise and relaxation options for patients, featuring three secured courtyards with amenities such as a walking path, shelter, and basketball court.

COBH also contains an indoor gymnasium, a social learning center for patients, art rooms, a meditation room and chapel, and a courtroom area for patients receiving court-mandated treatment.

“With all of these options available to patients to enhance their treatment experience, the new Central Ohio Behavioral Healthcare facility will continue to solidify Ohio’s reputation as a trailblazer and national leader in the behavioral healthcare field, said OhioMHAS Director LeeAnne Cornyn. “Under Governor DeWine’s leadership, the well-being of all citizens – especially those impacted by mental illness and substance use disorders – is a top priority. This modern facility represents the best of current patient care philosophies and truly showcases that our hospitals are the ‘Heart of Hope’ for the patients and families we serve.” 

The new facility also offers increased privacy for patients. At the new COBH, 85 percent of patient rooms will be single occupancy, which is often preferred by patients and their families. At the outgoing TVBH Kosar building, all of the patient rooms had multiple beds. Staff and patients will begin moving into COBH in June. Once the move is complete, TVBH’s Kosar building will be demolished and replaced with green space.

Click HERE to view more ribbon cutting photos and HERE to see more photos of the hospital interior.

Read the Governor's Full Media Release Here!


NOW OPEN - Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program

The Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) is please to announce the availability of the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program (STAR-LRP), where eligible providers who provide direct clinical or support services to individuals experiencing a substance use disorder are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in student loan repayment. The Deadline to apply is June 27th, 2024, at 7:30pm E.T.

Eligible applicants must fulfill a service commitment of 6 years working full time at a STAR LRP-approved substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facility that involves direct patient care either in a:

  • County/municipality where the average drug overdose death rate exceeds the most current national average overdose death rate per 100,000 people, as reported by the CDC, or
  • Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA).
    • **Participants will not receive credit for any employment at a STAR-LRP approved facility prior to the effective date of their STAR-LRP contract, which is the same as the application closing date, June 27th, 2024.**

Eligible disciplines and specialties who would qualify for the STAR-LRP Program include:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Certified Medical Assistants
  • Licensed Occupational Therapists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Master’s-level Social Workers
  • Behavioral Health Paraprofessionals, including but not limited to:
    • Community Health Workers,
    • Peer Recovery Specialists,
    • Case Managers, or
    • Health Navigators
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioners
  • Psychology Doctoral Interns
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Psychiatric Nurse Specialists
  • Pharmacists
  • SUD Counselors

HRSA will be holding several upcoming Q&A Sessions in June via Zoom:

  • Session 1: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET
  • Session 2: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 1 – 5 p.m. ET
  • Session 3: Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Peer Supporters, Let Your Voice be Heard!

Work is underway to transition peer support certification management from OhioMHAS to the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. As part of that transition, the organizations want to hear from individuals currently working in peer support roles. Please take a few moments to answer the survey questions at the link below and be part of this important process! 



Continuing Education Opportunities for Ohio Certified Peer Supporters & Peer Supporter Supervisors

The OhioMHAS Peer Services Team is pleased to share with you the below continuing education opportunities for Ohio Adult, Family and Youth Peer Supporters and Ohio Peer Supporter Supervisors! These opportunities are offered by our state and local partner organizations. Please feel free to share this with Peer Supporters and Peer Supporter Supervisors in your networks.

Webpage: https://mha.ohio.gov/community-partners/peer-supporters/resources/continuing-education
Additional opportunities will be added to this webpage as they are scheduled.

For full instructions to renew an Ohio Adult, Family or Youth Peer Supporter Certification, along with a list of additional organizations that may offer continuing education, please visit this webpage: https://mha.ohio.gov/community-partners/peer-supporters/apply-for-peer-supporter-certification-renewal

For additional information regarding the requirements to supervise Peer Supporters in Ohio, including the OhioMHAS 4-hour Peer Supporter Supervision Training, please visit this webpage: https://mha.ohio.gov/community-partners/peer-supporters/supervising-peer-supporters

OhioMHAS Peer Services Team
Office of Community Planning & Collaboration| Bureau of Recovery Supports

30 E. Broad St., 36th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Webpage: https://mha.ohio.gov/community-partners/peer-supporters


Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills are Becoming a lot More Common in Law Enforcement Seizures

A new study shows a dramatic spike in the number of counterfeit fentanyl pills being seized by law enforcement, an indication of the growing illicit drug supply driving the country's historic opioid crisis.

Last year, more than 115 million pills containing illicit fentanyl were seized by law enforcement, compared to over 71 million in 2022, according to the study published Monday in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The study found that the number of pills seized last year was 2,300 times greater than the roughly 50,000 seized in 2017. The counterfeit pills are made to look like legit prescription opioid medications — like oxycodone or benzodiazepines — but are often far deadlier. Public health officials have been warning about the presence of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, in the illicit drug supply for more than a decade. The new report highlights the rising threat of cheap and highly potent counterfeit pills, especially in the western U.S.

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